NOTEBOOK: Rivard Continues Hot Shooting in Victory Over Rice

The coast may have been different, but the result was the same for Laurent Rivard.

After shooting a combined 8 of 16 from deep during the Harvard men’s basketball team’s visit to California last week, the junior co-captain continued to make it rain from beyond the arc at Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday. Rivard went five of seven from three-point range, helping the Harvard men’s basketball team past Rice with a season-high 21 points.

After the Owls pulled within three, 13-10, less than seven minutes into the contest, Rivard played an instrumental role in the Crimson’s run. The junior put a stop to the Crimson’s 4:36 scoring drought, knocking down his first triple of the night with 10:52 to go. It wasn’t long before he added No. 2 and No. 3, as Rivard drilled back-to-back three-pointers less than three minutes later to extend Harvard’s lead to 14 with 8:30 to play.

In the first half alone Rivard recorded 15 points—more than he totaled in all but four games so far this season.

Before it was all said and done, the junior added one more triple to give him five on the day—matching a season high.

“We need him to shoot,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “He has a green light, and he’s the only one on our team who has that.”

The Crimson’s leading returning scorer entering the 2012-13 season, Rivard struggled at times early this season. Through Harvard’s first 10 contests, Rivard was shooting 39.3 percent from deep—down from his clip of 41.0 percent a season ago—and averaging 2.4 made three-pointers per contest.

But in the Crimson’s past three contests, Rivard has shot a combined 13 of 23 (56.5 percent) from three-point range and is averaging 16.3 points per game.

The difference?

“Just focus,” Rivard said. “I work on it everyday in practice. It’s got to fall some day, you know?”

Rivard has also been putting up more attempts from beyond the arc in recent contests: In his four most recent matchups, Rivard is averaging 7.75 three-point attempts compared to 5.88 through the Crimson’s first nine games.

But according to Rivard, he has not made a conscious effort to increase his shot total.

“I haven’t tried harder; I’ve just been running the offense,” Rivard said. “Guys are doing a great job of finding me.”

FRESH FACES

Two Harvard players dressed for their first game in a Crimson uniform on Saturday.

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